Monday, August 29, 2011

Celebrating Life At Dusk

SOMETHING UNUSUAL caught my eye as I headed to Kwomais Point Park at dusk to watch the sunset last Saturday.

To my surprise an umbrella was there as well as a row of candles and a cake.

The normally quiet setting was filled with laughter and chatter. A young woman was celebrating her birthday with friends. They didn't mind me taking pictures of their outdoor decorations.

The conversation made me wonder if friends were showing the birthday girl all the love they could in light of a recent disappointment in her life.

The flickering flames and sun-yellow flowers set against a pink-hued backdrop reflected both joy and sadness.

Stumbling on this scene of contradictions strangely coincided with thoughts about the recent unexpected passing of Jack Layton. Jack was the New Democratic Party (NDP) leader who not only captured the coveted role of official opposition but many hearts as well.

As the horizon switched moods from soft pinks and moved to the more vivid NDP shades of orange, I was reminded of Jack's televised funeral earlier that day and how it evoked a range of emotions.

Eulogies touching on Jack's beliefs came to mind ... that despite the highs and lows, confusing inbetweens and disappointments, life challenges us to move forward with optimism. "You can wait forever for perfect conditions or you can make the best of what you have now," Jack once told his son.

Maybe this is as simple as creating a magical experience for someone about to blow out another year of candles ... or lighting candles to celebrate a life that has passed.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

To view more sights from around the globe visit Our World.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gathering August Clouds

THESE GHOSTLY CLOUDS followed us down the road as we sped home after seeing the Rise of the Planet of the Apes movie when it opened in Langley, BC, earlier this month. Big and billowing, the floating army chased us all the way into Surrey without seeming to change its shape.

I recognized similar "snout" formations on the conjoined clouds over Jericho Beach in the Kitsilano area of Vancouver when I visited there this month.

These clouds in Sechelt, BC, were harmless but their funnel shapes reminded me of the dark and dangerous tornadoes some eastern parts of North America recently experienced.

Their numbers seemed to multiply in the bright blue summer sky.

From another direction, Sechelt clouds swirled into circles that reminded me a little of the milky way.

These clouds were framed by the Granville Street Bridge that hovers over Granville Island in Vancouver. I took the photograph earlier this week when I met blogger Stephanie who was visiting from Comox, BC. I will write about our meeting at a later date.

Also framed by the same bridge at Granville Island, this cloud picture was taken at the start of August during my meeting with talented and prolific Vancouver photographer and writer, Carol, from bikesbirdsnbeasts.

Clouds filled the skies throughout the month. They gave the horizon delightful moods, painting the sky with picturesque and sometimes "scary" textures.

You can see more skies from around the globe at Skywatch Friday.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wheee!!! Diving Into Davis Bay

SWIMMING FROM PIER TO pillar was a joy for these kids but nerve racking for the onlookers who saw the dangers. Although such activities can cause accidents, these haphazard dives into Davis Bay were pure fun.

We watched youngsters leap in the air without a care during a recent trip to visit family in Sechelt that started with a BC Ferry trip from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver to Langdale from where we drove past the Davis Bay pier.

The pillars were like a jungle gym with clusters of kids climbing up them.

Pier reflections glistened in crystal clear waters.

Pebbles gleamed on the beach floor.

The water mirrored its environment, from sky blue to forest green hues. Heading back from the wharf we saw the shore and ...

grasses prettily bordering the walkway.

There was a sign (click on photo for detail) with information about Davis Bay Wharf in the early years when children then, too, likely jumped off the pier with carefree abandon.

You can soak in more sites from around the globe at Watery Wednesday.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fun, Forest, Flowers & Fall

Sometimes Fun Fun Park is empty of children and playful sounds ...

and sometimes ...

it's not.

Summer was slow to come to Ocean Park, BC. But as the face on this drawing shows, little ones have enjoyed the playground, especially in July and August.

According to the chalk art, one group would soon say farewell to summer fun.

Bordering the swings and seesaw is a forest where people love to wander.

I came across a fallen tree by the path as well as one that was cut down.

I expected a home for squirrels in the bowl of this tree trunk but instead found a fire hazard of trash.

I saw uncut bouquets of flowers in neighboring yards by the park.

They brought color and flair to local gardens.

Some were faintly fragrant ...

and others fiery and flamboyant.

Amid the foliage, I discovered fall shades grinning at me from a fence, reminding me that soon it would be autumn.

This post showcases the letter "F". Visit ABC Wednesday to see how others showcase letters from A to Z.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jericho Chimes

PEOPLE LOVE TO LAZE on sandy beaches when the rays are warm and the weather is refreshingly breezy. Jericho Beach in Vancouver's West End is a hub for water sports and relaxation. It is easy to see why people gravitate to the tan colored shore by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.

Beyond the eye-catching pattern of the umbrella, it is also clear that the popular spot overlooking Burrard Inlet and English Bay attracts part-time sailors seeking safe harbor for their vessels.

I did not sail or sit in the sun when I went there recently. But I did listen to the distant laughter of carefree children and the gentle clanging of sailboat paraphernalia hitting multiple mast poles in the sea breeze. The unusual symphony was as melodic as windchimes and continues to play in my mind.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fantastic Journey Around Vancouver

A CAREFUL LOOK SHOWS two people are reflected in the Freezing Water #7 stainless steel sculpture by Chinese artist Jun Ren, temporarily in Vancouver, BC. The spectacular work also mirrors the blue sky, puffs of clouds and dry grass. Frozen yet visually fluid, the shape reminds me of a whale leaping out of the water or gigantic gull wings rippled by sea breezes.

The exhibit at Vanier Park attracted both Carol, from bikesbirdsnbeasts, and me like a magnet. With a snap of my camera, the two of us were permanently reflected (top photo) and recorded in the art.

The weather was balmy and the company superb last week when I met Carol for the first time in person with her companion Bill and adorable pooch Black Jack. Visiting the regular haunts of this tireless threesome was a fantastic way to explore parts of a city I had seen before but from different perspectives.

As we wandered the False Creek area from David Lam Park to Granville Island and along the seawall there were many interesting sights. Following in Carol's footsteps was eye-opening and it was easy to get hooked on her zest for life and appreciation of nature and local culture.

Carol's blog is one of the most extensive pictorials and writings on local wildlife and current happenings in Vancouver. Her personal point of view comes from the heart and gives rare insight into the community. Always curious, we had hoped to learn about the totem (pictured above) but were unable to find information at its location by the Granville Street Bridge.

During our walk, we spotted Jozsef Toth who builds inukshuks at the water's edge. The face on the head of the stonework was enhanced by rock artist Michelle Vulama.

To the delight of tourists, Jozsef regularly dismantles and reconstructs the monuments that can also be viewed in this video. In ancient times such structures often meant: "We were here" or "You're on the right path."

I certainly felt we were on a promising path as we peeked under pier pillars looking for wildlife and discovering new reflections.

This bold splash of color spilled onto the water and painted it yellow. Franck and Delphine Rabillier from France live on the vessel where they also perform acrobatic tricks on the masts of their sailboat. A scroll mid-way down Carol's post reveals their crowd pleasing antics.

I loved how the sky was framed by the arches beneath the Granville Street Bridge. It reminded me of ancient walls in Europe where sky views drift by enormous arching glass-free windows.

We were drawn to a mural with a rainbow by unknown native artists under the Granville Street Bridge. An almost invisible homeless man was tucked away in the shadows. It is disconcerting that a wealthy city has some people living on the streets and using shopping carts for their meager possessions.

This mural under the bridge was a burst of color. The circular dome that looks like a flying saucer is of a revolving restaurant downtown. The building also houses a Simon Fraser University campus.

There are several small vessels that transport people around the False Creek area. This charming little row boat definitely was not one of them.

We turned a corner to discover a gorgeous sea of lilypads that reminded me of Japan and my blogging friend stardust who discusses the differences between a water lily and lotus flower.

The weeping willow and surrounding foliage brushed beautiful watercolor patterns onto the manmade pond. (Click photo for better detail.)

Lilies floated lazily on the unruffled water amid lush leaves.

The Burrard Bridge on the horizon was a pretty architectural sight with its pillar softly duplicated in the water.

There were also stores along our way where we enjoyed a few moments of window shopping near this umbrella.

We did not test the imported decorative chairs that lounged outdoors. They brought to mind the chairs I discovered recently at a garden center.

It was too nice a day to sit and many people were out riding on this warm afternoon. Bicycling is a favorite mode of travel for Carol who spontaneously captures images for her pictorial diary along neighborhood routes.

As people whizzed by, we paused to admire a portion of the Stream Of Dreams art on the fence intended to encourage water conservation.

Whether in a bicycle basket, on the ground or over the water, Black Jack is always in good hands. She clearly enjoyed the outing as much as we humans did. With each questioning gaze she seemed to ask, "Where to next, folks?"

Explorers can find more sites from around the globe at My World.

Postscript: It came to my attention this morning that nature photographer Klaus, founder of That’s My World and owner of Skywatch, passed away. The unexpected news has left his many fans shocked and saddened. I wish comfort to his loved ones and hope that his huge and spectacular body of work continues to delight the cyberspace universe in a commemorative way.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms